The debate about love marriage vs. arranged marriage will continue to go on for years and years with both sides arguing about their way being “better”. But, is that really the conversation we should be having?
I think, and agree with the thoughts of this fellow blogger, that it’s much more important that we work together so that every single Indian has the right to choose the marriage they want, and the partner. The discussions should be on how to stop forced marriages and honor killings.
In the next few month I’ll be posting a series of blog posts to help shine the light on forced marriages and honor killings and what you can do to help.
Thoughts? Leave us a comment!
“A recent survey found that 65% of India's youth believe the final decision on marriage should still be taken by their parents” – reports CNN’s Sumnima Udas.
Watch this excellent, and short, video report on arranged marriages in India to see the difference between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage. Great to see the media bringing these issues to the forefront.
Thoughts? Leave them in the comments.
Most people know about the high prevalence of arranged marriages in South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.) among Hindus and Muslims. However, most people think these arranged marriages are based more in a cultural belief than a religious belief. But, did you know that the Vedas, the Quran and even the Bible mention arranged marriages?
The definition of an “arranged marriage” and how prescriptive each text is varies but we can trace arranged marriages back to 1700-1100 BCE. This post will explore how three of the holy books view arranged marriages.
1. The Bible
In the Bible the most famous arranged marriage is between Isaac and Rebekah. In this passage, a trusted servant was sent by Isaac’s father, Abraham, to find a suitable bride from his own people because he did not want Isaac to take a wife from among the heathen Canaanites (Genesis 24).
During the times marriages where generally arranged by the fathers’ of the bride and groom but it didn’t mean the marriage was binding. The Bible mentions arranged marriages but doesn’t say that parents should arrange marriages, nor does it say they should not.
2. The Quran
In Islam arranged marriages are allowed and promoted as long as both parties (the bride, and the groom) accept the arrangement. Islam is very clear that it does not support an arranged marriage where either the bride or the groom are unhappy with the match. It also puts the responsibility on the parents to ensure the couple is compatible and the marriage is not for their own social or political reasons.
3. The Vedas
Based on historians, arranged marriages originated in Indian during the Vedic period, and were derived from the laws interpreted in the Dharmashastras or sacred texts, which has its roots in the Vedas.
The Vedas described eight forms of marriages in Hinduism. The first four (The Brahma, Prajapatya, Arsa and Daiva) forms of marriages combined together can be classified as arranged marriages, because they actively involve the parents. Based on the Vedas the parents were the ones who decide on the groom and the bride had no say in the marriage – these are characteristics generic to the arranged marriages practiced among Hindus.
Interesting stuff! What do you think about what the holy books say? Leave your thoughts in the comments.